When stress urinary incontinence is interfering with your life and you have not responded to conservative treatments, surgery may be the best solution. Dr. Tomas G. Antonini, at the Central Texas Urogynecology and Continence Center in Austin, Texas, is a skilled surgeon and expert in urogynecologic care. When other treatments fail, he often recommends a mid-urethral sling procedure to combat stress incontinence as it is considered the “gold standard” surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence. Call the office today or schedule a visit via our convenient online service.
This type of urinary leakage occurs with activities that put stress on your bladder, such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, or lifting. It’s due to weakness or dysfunction in the muscles and other pelvic floor structures that enable you to hold urine. It often becomes a more noticeable problem as women age but also affects younger women who have had babies and is sometimes worsened by obesity or other conditions that place pressure on your abdomen.
For a sling procedure, Dr. Antonini uses strips of synthetic mesh to create a sling or hammock-like support under the tube, or urethra, which carries urine from the bladder. The sling supports the urethra and helps keep it closed when you cough, sneeze, or participate in other activities that increase abdominal pressure and may cause you to leak urine. Dr. Antonini considers this the “gold standard” for treating stress urinary incontinence that has not responded to other treatment.
The graft material in the type of sling Dr. Antonini uses is most often made of polypropylene. Polypropylene is a suture material that has been used for over 50 years without risks or complications. In the case of mid-urethral slings, polypropylene is knitted together in order to provide adequate support to the urethra.
Women who are still interested in becoming pregnant typically are not good candidates for a mid-urethral sling procedure since the stress associated with pregnancy, labor, and delivery will likely undo any benefits of the sling. Also, keep in mind that while sling surgery may reduce your symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, if you have mixed incontinence with an overactive bladder it won’t stop all your urinary leakage.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure that, depending on the approach Dr. Antonini selects, requires 1-3 small incisions that may be closed with stitches or skin glue. It’s quick, usually completed in less than 30 minutes. Recovery time varies by patient, but Dr. Antonini may advise you to restrain from sexual activity for six weeks and heavy lifting or other strenuous activity for 2-4 weeks to allow for appropriate healing.
Central Texas Urogynecology and Continence Center accepts most major insurance, including Medicare. At this time, we do not accept Medicaid. If you have any questions about your eligibility or coverage, please call our office. We are happy to help you!
"I will always be grateful to Dr. Antonini and his staff for their understanding and care."
"I am one week out from surgery. I could not be more pleased. Dr. Antonini and his staff are very kind, helpful and knowledgable."
"My quality of life improved 98% since I had surgery. I am very grateful for Dr. Antonini's skill and talent."
"This doctor is one of the best I have ever been to. You will not be disappointed."